[This post first appeared online here and here on 1st June 2020.]

Why do cities have to burn before we pay attention?

In the UK I hear people saying the plight of Black Americans is a US problem. Not true. Black people in the UK struggle daily. More black people than any other group have been fined & searched during the lockdown – that’s symptomatic of a wider systemic problem.

So what can non-black people do? (Numerous & detailed resources for the points made below follow at the end of this post)

1. Don’t ask black people to engage in the emotional labour of educating you.

2. Sign petitions

3. Support black-owned businesses and movements, eg: Kayleigh Benoit, Omari McQueen, Cephas Williams

4. Amplify black voices. Share their stories and raise awareness about the work they are doing.

5. Check in on black friends & colleagues. Remember that racism causes trauma. You must not ever expect someone to talk about the racism they have suffered or assume that it’s easy to talk about. If you are unsure of how you to start that conversation then send me a private message – I will try to help.

You will feel discomfort as you do these things (maybe even as you read this post). If you feel like stopping, remind yourself that you have the luxury to stop & move on to something else. Black people do not.

#justiceforgeorgefloyd #BLM

 

Books and other resources

Black and British – David Olusoga

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge

Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire – Akala

Guilaine Kinouani www.racereflections.co.uk

https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/#petitions

https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/#resources

https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/

https://blackbritishhistory.co.uk/

www.refinery29.com/amp/en-us/2020/05/9841376/black-trauma-george-floyd-dear-white-people

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/aug/06/black-lives-matter-uk-found-vital-social-justice

https://theconversation.com/why-the-uk-needs-its-own-black-lives-matter-moment-to-wake-up-to-police-racism-100998

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/26/bame-people-fined-more-than-white-population-under-coronavirus-laws

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/may/16/london-police-accused-of-racial-profiling-in-coronavirus-lockdown-searches

 

Information on black-owned businesses and movements

https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/

https://www.56blackmen.com/

https://natwestbackherbusiness.co.uk/bindlondon

https://shoppeblack.us/

https://travelnoire.com/black-owned-businesses-london-uk-black-history-month

https://www.greenamerica.org/blog/6-reasons-support-black-owned-businesses

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2020/may/06/black-owned-small-business-loans-funding-pandemic

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/345972

 

Other times when riots have occurred in the US:

– when sports teams lose:

https://uk.sports.yahoo.com/news/incomplete-list-things-kentucky-fans-013506028.html

– when sports teams win:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2123534/Kentucky-students-riot-basketball-team-beats-Louisville-NCAA-Final-Four.html

– when your sports team’s coach leaves:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/tennessee-football-riots_n_421255

– when your coach leaves because he covered up child molestation:

https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/penn-state-riots-after-paternos-ousting/

– because people decided they hate disco:

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/8xzke5/disco-demolition-night-was-a-disgrace-and-celebrating-it-is-worse

– people were told they couldn’t party anymore:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/james-madison-u-block-par_n_534137

– pumpkins:

https://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-new-hampshire-pumpkin-riots-20141019-story.html

– because black people wanted educations:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/october/1/newsid_2538000/2538169.stm

– because black people were prospering:

https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=TU013